LITTLE ROCK -- A 34-year-old Illinois man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for a pair of armed robberies in Little Rock and North Little Rock.
The holdups occurred three months apart. The first was May 11, 2021, at an Exxon in Little Rock where a man wearing a hoodie and a mask pulled a gun to steal three cartons of cigarettes about 4 a.m. after he entered the wrong pin code for his credit card.
Shawn Anthony Bridgeman of Gibson City, Ill., was arrested after an Aug. 9, 2021, robbery at the Cell Phone Repair Center at the Lakewood Village shopping center in North Little Rock.
Once North Little Rock police had Bridgeman in custody, they discovered Little Rock detectives had been looking for him for more than two months.
Little Rock detectives had used surveillance video from the Exxon to figure out who the robber was, showing the recording to neighboring convenience stores and motels.
Eventually, investigators ran across Junior Velazquez, 27, an acquaintance of Bridgeman's who said he saw Bridgeman with cartons of cigarettes after Bridgeman had said he was going to the Exxon.
Sentencing papers filed Thursday show Bridgeman pleaded guilty to two counts each of robbery, reduced from aggravated robbery, and theft in exchange for the 14-year term imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton.